Declining inactive funding applications

When and how Pharmac declines funding applications.


We used to keep inactive funding applications open on our books, whether we could fund them or not. We did this in case we got new information about them that might change our choices.

New Zealanders told us that this was confusing and frustrating. People want Pharmac to make final decisions, even if this means declining the application.

When to decline an application

We’re currently working through inactive applications to consider whether we should decline them. Once this work is finished, it will be clearer which applications we're actively working on to fund.

Funding applications may be inactive for a few reasons. We decline applications when:

  • our clinical experts recommend that we shouldn't fund them
  • the medicine would provide no extra benefits over treatments we already fund
  • the medicine may be harmful 
  • there is no supplier for the medicine.

We do not decline a funding application lightly. Before we decline any application, we consult with health professionals, patient groups, and suppliers.

Declined applications

Since 2019, we have proposed that 184 applications are declined. After feedback on our proposal, Pharmac declined 156 applications. The other applications remain on our ranking lists.

Our most recent consultation asked about declining 97 applications, covering 85 different medicines. We declined 84 applications. We are keeping 13 on our ranking lists.

Previously inactive applications have remained on Pharmac's books, despite being unlikely to be approved for funding. This has caused confusion as to if they will be funded and frustration at the lack of clarity. 

Find more details:

Definition of "an application"

An application is a request to fund a medicine to treat a specific condition. Some medicines have more than one application, each one to treat a different condition or for a different use. We may decline to fund a medicine for some conditions but keep it on the list for a different use. We rely on clinical advice to inform these decisions. 

Learn more

We keep the status of all applications up-to-date in Application Tracker. You can search for any application you're interested in and see where it's at.